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How to Cook Chicken for Curry – Indian, Thai & Japanese

How to Cook Chicken for Curry – Indian, Thai & Japanese

Last Updated on 2nd February 2022 by

Curried chicken is a common delicacy throughout all of India and many Caribbean countries. It’s a dish that a lot of people in the Western world aren’t familiar with, but it goes so well with rice and an Indian flatbread known as roti.

Once you learn how to cook chicken for curry, you’ll see why it’s so popular in much of the world.

How to Cook Chicken for Indian Curry

There are two aspects to making chicken curry that are very important to ensure it comes out the right way. These are the seasoning (made with curry, of course) and the method of cooking the chicken.

Keep in mind that there are lots of different kinds of curry, with different colors. In some areas of the world, it’s more common to use a green curry, whereas other parts prefer a red or orange curry.

The orange curry is made with turmeric, coriander, cumin, and tomato, while the green curry is made with cilantro and a number of seasonings that are similar to the red-orange curry.

The specific spices for curried chicken will vary depending on which recipe you’re using, but for about 2 pounds of boneless chicken breast, you can use a mixture of 1 ½ teaspoons of each of the following- turmeric, cumin, coriander seed, and paprika, with 15 ounces of crushed tomatoes. You can make it more aromatic by adding onion and garlic as you cook the chicken.

How to Precook Chicken for Curry?

Use a large pot and cover the bottom with oil, heating at medium high heat. Add in a whole chopped onion and cook until it becomes soft, which should take about 5 minutes.

Then, add your chicken and sear for about 5 minutes, until all the pink disappears from the meat. Add in three chopped cloves of garlic and a teaspoon of ginger and cook for another five minutes.

At this point, you can add in your spices, like the coriander and cumin as well as the tomatoes. Or, you continue cooking the chicken pieces to precook them.

That will take about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on how small your pieces are.

How to Cook Chicken Thighs for Curry

If you’re cooking thigh pieces, they will take longer than small pieces of boneless breast meat. You can use any kind of meat for curry chicken, but usually in the Western part of the world, you would be using boneless pieces.

Cooking whole thighs will take longer because they’re denser thanks to the bone and the larger cuts of meat, compared to small boneless chicken breast pieces.

You can use the same cooking process as above, but you may need to cook for 25 to 30 minutes, depending on how large the thigh pieces are.

How to Cook a Whole Chicken for Curry

If you want to cook up a whole chicken at once for curry, you can cook it in the oven, and it will take about two hours.

Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, put the chicken into a large roasting tray. You can make all your seasonings up into a paste and brush that over your chicken, then drizzle some cooking oil and a little salt and pepper onto the top of the chicken.

You should cover your whole chicken with foil and roast at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an hour.

Next, take the foil off and cook for another 45 minutes. You may want to check the chicken a little bit before then to see if it’s done cooking. It should be tender and have reached an internal temperature of at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Long to Cook Chicken for Curry?

How long it takes to cook the curry chicken will primarily depend on the pieces you’re using. Small boneless pieces take 15 to 20 minutes on the stovetop.

Larger pieces with the bone in may take as long as 30 minutes to cook, while a whole chicken can take close to two hours. It’s a good idea to check the chicken periodically if you’re making curry chicken for the first time.

Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature and watch your chicken to make sure it doesn’t burn.

How to Cook Chicken for Thai Curry

Thai curry is a bit different from Indian curry in that the flavor tends to be smoother and richer. Like Indian curry, Thai curry contains coriander seed, ginger, and onion, usually, but it also incorporates coconut milk and sometimes Thai curry paste.

The difference in the cooking method comes with the coconut milk. You’ll warm your oil and cook up your onions to start, adding in the chicken after a few minutes.

After about 5 minutes of cooking the chicken, you can add in the coconut milk, along with your other seasonings. You’re using small cuts of chicken that will cook quickly because you’re cooking with milk that will burn if cooked too long.

Once the coconut milk is in the skillet on the stovetop, you only want to cook your food for about 5 more minutes, until the sauce thickens and the liquid is reduced as much as you need it to be.

How to Cook Chicken for Japanese Curry

Japanese curry tends to be sweeter and thicker than other curry sauces. It’s made using honey and carrots to help give it a sweet flavor.

You want to make sure all your ingredients are about the same size and shape so that they cook evenly because you are cooking most everything together.

Start by cooking the onions in oil 5 or 10 minutes on a medium heat, and then add in garlic and chicken until the chicken has browned.

Next, lower the heat to a simmer and add in chicken broth as well as honey, soy sauce, and any other flavorings. Skim off any impurities to help the curry achieve a refined taste. You can use a mesh skimmer for that.

The final addition to your curry is curry cubes; cook them and stir them in until they’re completely dissolved.

Keep stirring and simmering until the curry achieves the proper consistency and temperature, which should be thick and hot.

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I'm Pauline, a retired patisserie chef, mother of four and now a full time food blogger! When i'm not cooking i love long walks, reading thriller novels and spending time with my grandkids. Head to my about me page to learn more about the woman behind the food!  You can find my Facebook here